Friday, August 21, 2009

Come Meet Anne Osterlund!!!

Hi-Dee-Ho!! Glad you're back because we're changing it up today!

Please make welcome YA author, Anne Osterlund!

If you're looking for a new author for your teens or you simply enjoy the sweeter side of romance, this is an interview you don't want to miss.

Excellent! Now, sit on back and let the good times roll!

1) If you were a book, what would your blurb be?

Stubborn. Sensitive. Creative. And very good at sharing her most intimate thoughts with cats!

2) Using 3 words, describe your "voice."

My characters speak.

3) Give us a little insight into the YA industry. In your opinion, what makes a successful YA novel?

Know your characters. Cut to the chase. And deliver.

4) Are you a Pantzer or a Plotter?

I think you have to be both. When I start a story, that is, first come up with the idea, I never know where it is going. Every sentence builds off the next until the story takes over and works itself all out in my head. At a far, far more rapid pace than I could ever type. But then, of course, in order to type, you have to work out the details. I may know that the characters move from the forest to the frontier, but how do they do that? Every draft is like peeling back the layers, until you know that not only are your characters traveling by wagon, but you know the width of the wagon, the shape of the wagon, the items inside the wagon, the placement of the rocking horse inside the wagon, the type of wood on the rocking horse inside the wagon, the texture and smell of the wood on the rocking horse inside the wagon.

5) What types of characters appeal to you? How do you 'get to know' your characters?

My characters introduce themselves. I listen. I first met Aurelia on a yellow notepad, complaining about being stuck at a party with an itching ankle. A princess, trapped in a scratchy dress, who wanted out! Robert was a boy from the frontier with a serious crush on the princess. Aerin was on a spaceship, removing a headband and asking herself if she could wash away the last several years of her life. And Dane was in prison, angry with his father and throwing away his future. Characters with a story have a dilemma that pulls them forward. They can’t stay in the place they are, and they refuse to let go until their story is complete.

6) Describe what an average writing day looks like for you? What kind of goals do you set for yourself?

Wake up whenever I wake up—sun should be shining. Let stubborn female cat outside to terrorize local tomcats. Breakfast. Walk (like to multi-task and read wonderful YA book at same time). Write all day and disappear in my characters’ universe, and when they let me go, check internet for marketing, try to remember to clean something, book/TV, sleep (often after discussing things with my characters)

Always pet cat when requested (and frequently when not)
Try to finish a ten page chapter within three full days of multiple revisions.
Try not to allow house to become complete disaster area.

7) I had the opportunity to meet your agent at a Writer's Symposium. Do you have any tips you'd like to share on getting and/or working with an agent?

I highly recommend attending writing conferences, as well as any workshops taught by the agent, and pitching agents/editors in person, or even better, pay them for a critique. It allows you to gain a feel for that person and how they work (whether they really have an interest in what you write and whether they listen and can share the same goals or vision). And it also allows your manuscript to skip the pile of “nobody knows what” and actually reach the correct person’s desk. That said, I found when I first started, that I received far better feedback from editors than I did from agents, and I sold my first book without an agent. I believe this is fairly common with children’s and young adult authors. Though, of course, if you don’t try, it won’t happen!

8) Tell us a little about your latest release. What's up next for Anne?

Academy 7 is a young adult science fantasy about Aerin and Dane. Aerin is a scarred fugitive in search of a better life. Dane is a self-destructive rebel seeking revenge. Despite her defensiveness and his pent-up anger, they form a tentative bond as the top new students at the most prestigious school in the universe. But they will have to tear down their inner barriers and brave the scalding secrets of the past in order to meet the real challenge of Academy 7. Think Star Wars meets The Outsiders.

I’m writing two books right now: Exile is the sequel to my first book, Aurelia, and it is the story of how the exiled crown princess of Tyralt begins to truly know her kingdom, the young man who is in love with her, and herself. Salvation is the story of a gifted young man named Salva (Salvador) who wants to enjoy his senior year with his friends but has reached the point where he can no longer cruise just below the radar. And also about Beth, the walking disaster area, who helps him see that.

You can find excerpts to all of Anne's Novels at her website:

I'd like to thank Anne for giving us the low-down on the YA scene. And I wanna THANK all of YOU for gettin' jiggy with TLN today! It's Friday!! Let's send this week crashing into the abyss with a song that was H-O-T-T back in my YA day! LOL Here's ACE OF BASE with THE SIGN!! Oh, come on! You know you cruised Mooney Blvd. with your best gals rockin' this little ditty- or maybe that was just me. LOL Anyhoo, have a fantabulous weekend! Catch ya'll back here again next week!


Nicole McCaffrey said...

Great interview, ladies! I've never read YA but Anne, I think you've convinced me to give it a try--your stories sound so interesting!

Love the interview--yes, must pet cat on demand, LOL, otherwise he hauls his tubby butt onto the desk and sits on my keyboard....


Phoebe Matthews said...

Love your story theme - this sounds extremely interesting. One of the great things about YA is that usually provide a strong plot. Thanks for a great new suggestion for my reading list.
- Phoebe Matthews, Mudflatbks

Helen Hardt said...

Loved your list of goals! Unfortunately, my house is always a disaster, LOL. Great to meet you, Anne!


Clover Autrey said...

Love YA, love the interview, love finding new authors to read. Thanks, gals.

Carol North said...

Nicole: Thanks for introducing me to a new writer.
Anne: You've shown me the richness of YA books.

Anne Osterlund said...

Thanks, ladies! Pleasure to meet you all. Stop by my website any time.

(who must forego her beautiful sunshiny writing mornings for 4:50 a.m. alarm clock buzzes and 26 sixth graders as of Monday--Yes, I like them, but never at 4:50).